Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS), 8:00 p.m. EST, College Football Week 4, Saturday, September 24, 2011, Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho
by Scotty L of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Tulsa Golden Hurricane +32.5/BSU -32.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
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The Tulsa Golden Hurricane will travel to Bronco Stadium to take on Boise State on Saturday. Tulsa continues a brutal run of tough scheduling, while Boise State once again looks to position themselves for another national championship run. The Broncos looked fresh after a 2-week hiatus in a good road win/cover over a talented and up-and-coming Toledo squad last Friday night. Tulsa, meanwhile, is licking its wounds a bit after massive beatings at the hands of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Tulsa is coming off a nice 10-3 season that culminated in a 27-point win over Hawaii in a bowl game. Any hopes for a return to that form seem doubtful in light of the harshest early-season scheduling of any team in the nation. Game one was at number-one Oklahoma. The second game was a well-needed 31-3 win against Tulane. Games three and four are brutal. Oklahoma State is hovering around the top-five and beat the Golden Hurricane 59-33. Boise State is fourth in the nation and playing at home. Tulsa must be feeling a bit dizzy at this point.
Making matters worse is Tulsa’s third-year starting quarterback, G.J. Kinne, is listed as doubtful after injuring his knee in the 3rd offensive series on Saturday. Redshirt freshman Kalen Henderson was wide-eyed at times en route to a 6-for-20 performance with three picks. But his performance was slightly better than the stats suggested, as he settled down a bit later in the game.
Losing their starting quarterback gave rise to a surprisingly good running game, aided by an O-line that played very well. The “D” betrayed them in the end, allowing 59 Oklahoma State points. But running backs Ja’Terian Douglas (173 yards) and Trey Watts (159 yards) did a great job against Oklahoma State. Whether they can do that against the more robust Boise State defense remains to be seen. Henderson has some talent, but they lose a certain amount of leadership, diversity, and scrambling ability with Kinne on the sidelines.
Kellen Moore made it look easy against Toledo last week. The Boise State lefty QB was 32-42 for 455 yards and 5 touchdowns. Even though he lost some talent in the WR position, he is still spraying the ball around with aplomb. He is smart and gutsy, leading an offense that is actually a lot more physical than people assume. The win against Toledo was Moore’s 40th win as a starter. He was deadly with his 3-step drop, as Toledo couldn’t catch on to Moore’s rhythm. RB Doug Martin ran for 70 yards and caught 5 passes for 122. The guy can do it all, also lending his presence on special teams.
Boise State can be especially tough when working that 3-step drop, which almost takes the place of a running game. The no-huddle approach keeps defenses on its heels and the variety of options keeps them guessing. With the consummate field general in Moore at the helm, this team is going to be a major headache for teams this year. Defensively, they are getting better and better.
Tulsa needs a boost from their defense. They can put up points, but it’s all for naught when the defense is allowing teams to run wild. The Broncos offense is different from the teams they have been beaten by this year. Maybe they can catch a matchup quirk that works in their favor and keeps a home Boise squad from turning it into an offensive showcase. Otherwise, it could be tough, as Tulsa’s offense looks to be overmatched a bit coming into this game.
Scotty L’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Sometimes Boise is complacent, especially with the lead. In addition, their place kicker looks to be utterly dysfunctional. Those factors can be worth some points, but numbers don’t lie. Even in the midst of Boise State becoming a nationally followed, and even beloved team, they just keep covering and covering. In their last 51 games, they are 34-16-1 ATS and 48-23-2 ATS in their last 73 home games.
However, I feel that the bookmakers have slipped in a few extra points of value here in the direction of Tulsa. Expect a final margin of around 28 points with Tulsa getting the money.
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